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Tuesday, February 17, 2015

The Thirteenth Guest (1932)

A young woman (Ginger Rogers) returns to the now abandoned house where 13 years earlier, a dinner party was given and a mysterious thirteenth guest never showed up. Now it appears a mysterious killer intends to murder the surviving dinner guests. Based on the novel by Armitage Trail (SCARFACE), this is a rather creaky whodunit. The emphasis is as much on comedy as the actual solving of the killings but even at one hour and eight minutes, it's slow going. This is a very early film in Rogers' career, she had not yet done those Busby Berkeley musicals at Warners or yet paired with Fred Astaire for their classic RKO musicals. She displays very little star power here and there are zero sparks with her undistinctive leading man Lyle Talbot. Unless you're a fan of early 30s murder mysteries, there's not much here for you. Directed by Albert Ray. With J. Farrell MacDonald, Paul Hurst and Frances Rich.

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